Monday, May 28, 2012

Andrei Liankevich has got 3d prize prize for "History Museums" story from "Goodbye, Motherland" project in Belarus Press Photo Award. The project together with 6 incradible works you can find in "Stand By" book, last book by SPUTNIK collective :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Презентация книги в г.Перми / Book Presentation in Perm (Russia)


24-го мая состоится творческая встреча с Андреем Линкевичем, в рамках Международного Фестиваля "Photograffiti", который представит фото книгу «Stand BY / За Беларусь» фото-коллектива SPUTNIK . Встреча состоится в театре Сцена-Молот, г.Пермь, ул. Ленина, 53 в 19.00.
Добро пожаловать!

Dear Friends!

Meeting with Andrei Liankevich, during International photo Festival"Photograffiti", will take place on 24th of May, where he'll present photo book «Stand BY/ За Беларусь» by SPUTNIK collective. The meeting will teak place at Scena-Molot theater , Perm, ul. Lenin, 53, on 7 pm.

If you are in Siberia- welcome :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Forest awarded!

We are pleased to share a great news!
The very first award for Stand BY project has come!
Jan Brykczyński has just been awarded with the 1st prize (category: nature) in Grand Press Photo contest for his photos taken in the Belarusian Forest.
We wait for more. And more.

Stand BY in Vilnius

Photo-report from «Stand BY / За Беларусь» book by Sputnik Photos at Center of Modern Art and European Humanity university in Vilnius (Lithuania). May 14th, 2012.
See more:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Attention please, dziś PREMIERA!

Po dwóch latach nasza książka wreszcie ma swoją premierę! Fotofestiwal w Łodzi zobaczył już walizkę pełną książek - świeżutkie "Stand By", prosto z drukarni!
Dzisiaj o 17 pierwsza prezentacja naszej nowej książki o Białorusi. 
Więcej informacji tutaj:

We are in Lodz, at Fotofestival, with our new book "Stand By". Today at 5 pm first public presentation of the book. More info:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Victory Day

On this day 67 years ago Nazi Germany capitulated to the Soviet Union in the Second World War (also known as the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union).
Heroines of my story were all active participants of the war. They are “Heroes of the Nation”. I was portraying women – veterans of the Second World War. I was inspired by Svetlana Alekseyevich’s book War’s Unwomanly Face. I wanted to meet women who were brave enough to be soldiers.
All these brave women of different origin were fighting in World War II for their homeland. The war was difficult for them. They were very young when the war had started (16-18) and they had to learn plenty of things necessary during the war. They were nurses, truck drivers, work in communications, they were partisans. Most of them went to army as volunteers because to defend their homeland. They had to fight and to share difficult living conditions with men soldiers.
Soviet and post-soviet propaganda didn’t forget about them. They were given medals and prizes and stated “Heroes of the Nation”. They were taking part in the parades, invited to schools to tell pupils about heroic time of war. They looked strange surrounded by men heroes but there was a equality of men and women in the USSR so no-one could forbid them to be heroes. It didn’t change after the fall of the Soviet Union. All Belarusian history and identity is about war - this is what my friend's Andrey Liankievich's story is about.

Now the old ladies I met are at the end of their lives. Belarus is their home. A lot of them miss Soviet Union. They don’t understand why the empire collapsed.

In Belarus no-one asks questions about the war. There is no public discussion about it. The veterans are heroes and they have good lives with good pension. Every year in May their faces are on propaganda posters in Minsk, Brest, Grodno and other cities. No-one realizes that not everybody was happy of freedom brought by Soviet Army. 

Meetings with these old Belarussian women made me also aware of how differently the history of my own country (Poland) and that of her heroic veterans’ country are written.
There is a lot on history and propaganda in this summary. But in the end the story is just a record of intimate meetings with brave, old women, who experienced a lot and who are at the end of lives. Most of them are happy. This is so optimistic! It is like a happy end.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Jan Brykczynski / Around the Belovezhskaya Pushcha - the last primary forest in Europe

The beginnings were quite strange. I got kick out from the village in the forest that I wanted to photograph by the local KGB. They told me it was a Border Zone and that I had no permission to stay there as a foreigner. As I couldn’t really photograph the places that are inside the forest, as most of them were inside the Border Zone, that is 30km wide! I decide to change my approach and I focused on the surrounding area.
Belarus has no sea, no mountains, but it has the forest! And it is a very important one both for the Belarusian identity and for the ecology. There is a long tradition of the forest conservancy that dates back to 15th century. Recently president Lukashenko declared it the national treasure and encourages the development of tourist infrastructure. It is the last primary forest in Europe (UNESCO heritage!), and it is divided by the Belarussian – Polish border. Knowing it on the Polish side I was very curious how it looks on the other side and what is the relation of the local inhabitants to the forest.
I collected photos of the representations of the nature that I could find in the houses, offices, forestrys, and public space of the villages that surround the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. I looked for the items brought from the forest, the paintings and so one. That way I wanted to examine how the forest function in the Belarusian mentality, especially of those living next to it. My discoveries were quite unexpected… Here few photos and more about it soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Manca Juvan - what about homeland?

Through our project, I was trying to explore the idea of homeland. I met with Belarus people of different ages and backgrounds, who had a thing in common - a wish for a more free and prosperous life. That's why they chose New York as their new home. I was wondering, for example through what locations do people remember their own city or country; what are the objects they keep and which remind them of their roots; what are the places they identify with and like most in their new home, as well as what are their dreams for the future; how these concepts co-relate, in terms of how where we come from shapes us and our future... ?